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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

5 Questions to Ask for Girls on a Shoestring Budget When Shopping

Hey fashion lovers!

It's spring and I'm sure many of you are shopping (or have already shopped) for new pieces to add to your wardrobe! There are so many spring trends that you may be excited to try, and you just want to buy every floral/pastel/chiffon thing out there. Sure, go ahead. But for those girls out there who are on a tight budget, you can't just buy everything that attracts you. Hence here's my list of 5 questions to ask yourself before buying something.

1. How many times will I wear this? 
Why: It's important to ask this question because if you're going to splurge on a piece, it is a waste of money if you're only going to wear it once or twice. You'll only end up feeling regret when you feel like the money you splurged on that piece of clothing can be better used to pay your (upcoming) rent.
Left: Mango Scarf Print Chiffon Dress,SGD114.96; Right: Forever 21 Vibrant Scarf Print Tank,USD15.80.
The design of the dress on the left has a beautiful and artsy print which I adore. However, the number of ways that I can style the dress is limited compared to the tank. I can wear the print tank in many different ways - e.g. with pants/over a shirt/skirt to get the look I want. For the dress, I can only style it with accessories or jackets and shoes to change the look of it.

ASOS's Glamorous Swing Dress in Summer Stripe,SGD42.36
Basics with interesting designs are always good to splurge on. The interesting design will give your outfit a quirk while also being easy to style with many other pieces since it's a basic. Like this, which has a quirky swing-style skirt but it is also in monochromatic stripes, making it a classy and fun dress to have.
Solution: Find something that you will wear frequently. Calculate the number of venues and occasions that you can wear that piece to. Think of the number of outfits you can create by pairing that item with other articles of your current wardrobe. If you can form quite a few outfits with it, then chances are that you'll wear it lots since it matches many things in your wardrobe.

2. Am I buying this because it's on sale or because I really like this?
Why: It's easy to go overboard when things are on sale. I know that feeling myself. It's like when you see a t-shirt on sale, even if it's not something that you'd usually pick, you buy it because it's 50% off. I make this mistake once in a while. In the end, you end up with clutter in your cupboard and less money.

Solution: Think first before you buy. Don't get carried away by the idea of "OMG 30% off is such a good deal!". Ask yourself questions 1, 2 and other questions on this list first. Another way is that you wait for a day or two. If you're still thinking about it, then go and get it.

3. How many times can I wear this?
Why: If it's a statement piece, like a neon pink trench coat, then there's not many times you can wear it without feeling like you're repeating your outfits. Even if it's something that you really love, a statement piece can only be worn a few times without looking old. Plus, you might be limited to wearing it for one season and you don't wear it anymore because the trend has changed.
Left: White 3D Flower Embellished Jacquard Skater Skirt,USD54.90; Right: Forever 21 Romantic Floral Lace Skirt, USD17.80.
I am enchanted by the 3D flower skirt from Chicwish, but the elegant design of it and the statement it makes results in me choosing to only wear it for formal and special occasions. It's a skirt that people will remember, hence one can't wear it frequently. The skirt also follows the white-on-white trend that is currently popular. If you want floral skirt in your wardrobe but still have that romantic element to it, the F21 lace skirt is a good substitute and you can match it with many outfits.

Solution: If you're looking for statement pieces, try to go for pieces that have attractive details but, at the same time, not too outstanding such that you can't wear it when the trend is over.

4: Is this too expensive? Can I find cheaper alternatives?
Why: Sometimes (or often), things that one is attracted to might not be wallet-friendly. A white T-shirt from a high-end brand may cost $100 compared to the one at H&M going for $7.90. Sure, a T-shirt from a high-end may be made of better materials or whatnot, but nobody will be able to tell the brand or the difference in quality unless they touch you or see the label. It's like makeup--no one can tell whether you're wearing a blush from Chanel or from ELF unless you reveal it.
Left: Chicwish Hot Pink Contrast Cuff One Button Blazer,USD56.90; Right: Forever 21 Statement Making Blazer,USD27.80. 
Both blazers look similar except for the cut and the cuffs. However, if all you want is a bright coral blazer, then F21's blazer is a pretty and affordable choice. It all depends on whether you want to save or splurge. If you love coral and wears blazers lots, the Chicwish's one is worth investing. This is just an example to show that there are similar designs with cheaper prices. 
Solution: Decide if you can really afford such a splurge when you can save by buying cheaper alternatives. Shops like Topshop, Forever 21 and Miss Selfridge offer clothes in designs similar to the clothes seen on the runway shows of high-end fashion brands. Or you can always go online shopping to search for it. 

5: Do I look good in it?
Why: This is the most important question of all to ask yourself. What's the point of getting on-trend pieces or cheap deals if you do not look good in it? If you don't feel like you look great in it, chances are, you will hardly wear it out.

Solution: Try the clothes on and take a photo of yourself in it. Ask yourself:"Do I feel or look good in it?" Ask other people for their opinions if you need one. Honestly, if you've got doubts about the clothes, take a while to think before making the purchase. Unless the store has a really nice return policy like H&M, you need to take the time to learn and see what you like and look good in. Usually when you feel good, you'll look good. And when you look good in it, you'll definitely wear it more often! Hence don't hesitate to splurge on clothes that you feel that you'll get alot of wear out of once in a while. 

I hope this list of questions may be helpful in your next shopping trip! Calculate the amount of money you can afford to spend on shopping that month before heading out. Usually, I go out shopping with an idea of what I might want and what I don't need in my wardrobe. Thus, I usually end up buying clothing that fit along those requirements. What other tips do you have when it comes to controlling your shopping budget? I'd love to hear from you in the comments or through twitter (@ChapalangGirls).

Till next time.
El   xoxo

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